Realism, according to the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy, is the “aesthetic system that assigns as propose the faithful imitation of nature to the artistic and literary works”, it is the “way of presenting things just as they are, without softening or exaggerating them.” That is in simple terms, because the Realism just as all the other artistic movements involves an interpretation of the represented object by its creator and it will never be a representation or faithful copy of the reality.
“No register can capture the reality by its living, dynamic and tridimensional character. Not even photography can do it. The reality is what you are capable of living in the moment you are living it, it is the exact present”, explains the painter Enrique Campuzano, famous by its realistic works. He appoints that the tag of “imitation of reality” should be taken away from the Realism because this movement expects to “create a staging” of the elements recognizable by the observer as they are, a human figure or a landscape.
For this artist, in the painting, everything is a convention, even the coloring. And for the work to be ludic you cannot be faithful to the observed. You have to “adapt it.” “But this lie has an aesthetic that you direct as a true. For me, the best painting work is made when the artist manipulates what is been showed and you believe it. The artist that uses his or her ayes modifies and adapts as pleased, at his or her need. Is as when you go to a ballet or to an Opera, the artists are showing you a fake language, that you accept as a true”, he claims.
However, the Spanish painter Martin Soria gives another approach: “Realism is the search of those real sensations, beyond the formal, it is the real content.” As he appoints, it is about “refine the representation of the object for what it contains, not for what it is in shape. The hyperrealism, however, searches for the formal, for those sensations or proportions of the objects; while the realism, disregards a bit from the formal and goes beyond. It searches for those sensations of content…for example, the hyperrealism is concerned with having all the complete and clear image, the Realism does not, the Realism can project only the approach it wants to express and the rest gets lost on the process.”
Enrique Campusano, also refers to the Hyperrealism to distinguish it from the Realism and also to put end to the confusions that, according to him, are even manifested by some critics. These ones, tend to believe that the distinctive from the Hyperrealism in the detail. “It is a way of painting imposed by the Americans and that has as a starting point the use of the photography mechanism. These artists base their work on the amplified image of the photography, which is projected in big dimensions. It is not about, therefore, a meticulous drawing work”, it mentions the American artist Chuck Close as the most evident case. Close increases his works at a big scale. His most famous works are his faces “Heads” that can reach over the 2.13X2.74 or even more.
The Realism movement born in France in 1848 in the frame of the French Revolution, from there its relation and influence with ideas of social character. Among its precedents is the rediscovering of the Dutch painting in the 17th Century and the influence of Spanish Baroque masters. It extends up to 1880.
Gustave Courbet is its biggest exponent. The artist was born in Ornans in 1819, and later moved to Paris at his 20s, where he makes his plastic education. His constant visits to the Louvre made him abandon his career on Laws and to focus on the work imitation of the masters as Caravaggio, Rembrandt and Velazquez. Courbet rejected the idealization of art, proclaiming that only the Realism was genuinely democratic, having to take farmers and workers as models. In his works are captured scenes of the daily life, portraits, nudes and landscapes. He openly participated on the revolution of 1848 being cataloged as a dangerous artist. After participating on the Commune of Paris, the artist was canceled. He exiled himself to Switzerland where he died in 1877. Entierro de Ornans and El Estudio del Artista are his most famous works.
The Work of Claudio Bravo
There are numerous realistic painters in Chile, but when it comes to referring to this movement the focus tend to be directed to Claudio Bravo. Arte Al Limite magazine wanted to meet Soria and Campuzano’s vision in relation to Bravo’s work.
The Spanish painter Martin Soria explained that in first instance he does not like to classify artists on the delimitations that involves the pictorial styles or movements because every work of art functions “based on the principles of creation” and they all have the same value. Nevertheless, he understands this need of conceptualization. In his opinion, Bravo’s work get closer to a photographical vision of reality directed to the formal and in that sense it would have relation with the Hyperrealism. However, Matias Movillo’s painting, in his judgment, is a clear example of Realism. “When Matias Movillo starts the work of creating a painting, I think he faces to the painting with the intention of capturing the environs or the shape that delimits that object. For the realistic painter, or what I understand as realistic, the first option it that, how I capture the sensation, how I vibrate inside that sensation.” Enrique Campuzano, for his part, thinks that Bravo is “a drawer of exception, a painter of exception” by its “amazing” quality of the use of the tone.